Titans want to show Johnson the money

The Titans want Chris Johnson to show up to camp so they can work out a new contract. (REUTERS)

The Titans want Chris Johnson to show up to camp so they can work out a new contract. (REUTERS)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:13 PM ET

The Tennessee Titans say they are prepared to show Chris Johnson the money.

But the star running back says he has not received an offer and apparently will have to show up at training camp first to get one.

Johnson’s holdout will soon stretch into its third week.

Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said the team is prepared to make Johnson the NFL’s richest running back.

“We’re willing to make him the highest paid running back in the history of the NFL, that’s kind of where we are,” Reinfeldt told the Associated Press on Thursday.

“Even though he has two years left on his contract, we’d like him to ... go to meetings, get to know the new coaches, he can learn the scheme. He doesn’t have to practice, but it’s something we want to get done.”

The Titans don’t necessarily want Johnson to hit the field and pick up bumps and bruises, but they do want him to sit down with the coaches — particularly new head coach Mike Munchak — and with new quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Johnson was taken aback by Reinfeldt’s talk.

“I am surprised at Reinfeldt’s statement about offering to make me the highest paid running back. Neither me nor (his agent) have received any offer from the Titans at all,” Johnson informed the Tennessean.

“Maybe they talked, but I guarantee we never received any offer.”

A day earlier, Titans all-time rushing leader Eddie George sided with Johnson, who would earn only $800,000 U.S. in base salary this season, far less than $30 million-plus in guaranteed money he is after over the life of a new deal.

“I look at the organization and most of the onus is on them, because they told him they would take care of him after last year,” George also told the Tennessean.

“I don’t blame him for not being there. He has to do what he has to do ... the window for a running back is small. He has to get his deal now where he has leverage.”

George said it was “uncalled for” that Tennessee didn’t get a deal done earlier, all but forcing Johnson to hold out.

Johnson is one of only six players to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and has 4,598 yards on the ground over his career. With a new deal, he could one day surpass George’s total of 10,009 yards.

“Does he deserve a new contract? Absolutely he does,” George said.

“He has outperformed his other one. It’s now time to stop messing around and get the deal done.”

The Titans have now shown their cards, expect Johnson to follow suit and grace the club with his presence in the near future. It seems he won’t get his massive payday without doing so.

JERRICHO’S A STEELER

The New York Jets once lifted Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh returned the favour, signing wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a one-year contract.

Though Cotchery isn’t likely to win a Super Bowl MVP award for the Steelers like Holmes did, he is a dependable new weapon for Ben Roethlisberger to utilize.

The Jets released the 29-year-old last week, despite his 4,474 career receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, claiming he asked out after the team signed Plaxico Buress.

The Jets re-signed Holmes to a pricey new deal and added veteran receivers Derrick Mason and Burress, but have now lost Cotchery, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith, meaning Mark Sanchez will have to get used to a new cast of characters.

In Pittsburgh, Cotchery will have to battle a decent crop of receivers to get balls thrown his way.

QUICK HITS

It’s still not clear when Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin will be able to rejoin the team, but Philadelphia gave a sign that it might be awhile by inking Steve Smith to a one-year deal. Smith, not the Carolina standout, but a solid ex-New York Giant Pro Bowler, is coming back from a knee injury and could be out until late October. The Giants were angry that they weren’t given the opportunity to match the Smith contract, but Smith told raging Giants fans that the team didn’t make an effort to keep him around. Meanwhile, Maclin had mononucleosis this spring but nobody knows if his current mystery illness is related to that ... Burress still can’t practice due to a sore ankle, but is expected to play on Monday night ... According to ESPN, Buffalo wide receiver Lee Evans could be traded by Saturday ... Steve Slaton hurt his hamstring, joining star running back Arian Foster and Ben Tate on the sidelines with injuries of that nature ... Giants vice-president of communications Pat Hanlon is anything but politically correct. He went off on frustrated fans this week calling one a knucklehead, while belittling others. It will be different for the NBA, but the NFL doesn’t need to generate much post-lockout goodwill from its fawning fans ... Kansas City has signed free agent tackle Jared Gaither ... Ahman Green has finally retired. He last played in the NFL in 2009 ... Defensive end Matt Roth will sign a $3 milion U.S. contract with Jacksonville after starting all 16 games for Cleveland last season ... The Miami Dolphins have barred fans from recording practices. They don’t want opponents to get an edge. Um, the Dolphins could blindfold their opponents this season and still lose half their games, no need to go all Spygate on us, it’s not going to help.

Vikings admit Moss was a mistake

Brad Childress took a gamble on Randy Moss and it blew up in his face.

Now, the former Minnesota Vikings coach has decided to give a little payback to the future hall-of-famer.

Childress told NFL.com that he has no regrets about the Brett Favre drama, but bringing in Moss was a colossal mistake.

“(Moss) walked in the locker room and vomited on it,” Childress said.

It might have been a sign that Moss wasn’t worth it when New England gave up on him, despite his years of brilliance for the club.

But Chldress and the Vikings bit, before cutting him lose after an unimpressive run that saw the team drop three of four games with Moss. He was then claimed by Tennessee with similarly poor results and retired earlier this month.

Few NFL stars have been as mercurial as Moss.


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